Since its initial publication in 1868, Louisa May Alcott’s semi-autobiographical novel Little Women has captivated readers’ hearts and remains one of the most beloved novels of all time — and it has found just as much affection on stage too, such as right here in Manchester’s HOME Theatre.
Against the backdrop of the American Civil War, the book draws inspiration from Alcott’s own upbringing with her three sisters in what, despite the very specific historical context, turned out to be a very relatable and familiar feeling story filled with plenty of compelling character studies.
Little Women tells the tale of the March family, with the story revolving around the hardworking mother, Marmee, and her four daughters: Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy.
As their father serves in the war, the narrative follows the sisters’ journey from childhood to adulthood, navigating the challenges of survival in New England during the War.
It achieves a perfect blend of humour, drama, romance and, of course, tragedy, along the way, and it’s easy to see the influences director Brigid Larmour has brought to the production.
Bringing her expertise and acclaim from The Merchant of Venice 1936, not only does the theatrical performance sweep you in the spirit of the age but, just like the hugely popular and successful movie adaptation by Greta Gerwig in 2019, the production boasts an impressive cast.
From Kacey Ainsworth as mum Marmee, known for her role as ‘Little Mo’ in Eastenders, to Jessica Brydges, Rachael McAllister, Meg Chaplin and Julia Brown as the differing daughters (Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, respectively), they all bring Alcott classic characters to life and without feeling like a various obvious nod to their recent Hollywood portrayals.
The ensemble is rounded out by Daniel Francis-Swaby, Susan Twist and Tom Richardson: all of whom are seasoned performers on stage and screen — and it shows, pulling just the right amount of focus from the central figures and shining in their own right.
The most notable nod to the supporting cast goes to Twist, who plays Aunt March and emerges as a formidable force, providing comic relief during tense moments and adding an extra layer of entertainment to the production.
Manchester’s HOME theatre makes for the perfect space to bring Little Women to life.
Overall, the overarching family dynamic in Little Women mirrors the funny and chaotic moments reminiscent of those Christmas gatherings just around the corner, evoking a sense of nostalgia and universality through the little quirks and idiosyncrasies that define family life.
In short, it’s akin to experiencing many ‘Christopher Columbus!’ moments in real-time, discovering uncharted territories within the family circle as you go — something everyone can identify with.
Anne-Marie Casey’s celebrated modern adaptation of the classic story, complemented by a stellar lineup both in its on-stage personalities, Larmour direction and wider creative team, along with a touch of festive cheer, makes Little Women a must-see production this winter.
All in all, it was a heartwarming show suitable for all ages which guarantees to resonate with both those discovering the tale for the first time and those first captivated by reading it on the page. Playing at HOME until 23 December, you can grab your tickets HERE.
Little Women is comfortably one of the best shows in Manchester right now.
Disney’s ‘The Sound of Magic’ concert is coming to Manchester on its first-ever UK tour
Disney’s smash-hit ‘The Sound of Magic’ live concert is heading out on its first-ever tour of the UK this summer.
And, of course, it’ll be stopping off in our city to enchant Manchester audiences.
Following on from its hugely-successful UK debut at the London Coliseum last year, where it garnered countless five-star reviews, and both acclaim and praise from critics and fans, Disney In Concert: The Sound of Magic is hitting the road in a few months time, and will be taking to the stage at several major cities all across the country – including here in Manchester.
If you’re unfamiliar with what the beloved show is all about, Disney In Concert: The Sound of Magic is a musical celebration of over 100 years of the Disney experience.
The symphonic celebration will see the renowned Novello Orchestra bring to life the soundtracks and characters from Walt Disney Animation Studios in the concert hall and on the big screen in a live-to-film concert “like never before”.
Disney’s ‘The Sound of Magic’ concert is coming to Manchester on its first-ever UK tour / Credit: Disney
Suitable for all ages to attend and experience the magic, the show will be making its way across the UK this June and will be stopping off at cities such as London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Nottingham, and Bath, as well as fellow North West city Liverpool along the way.
But what better way to kick things off than here in Manchester?
Disney In Concert: The Sound of Magic 2024 Tour Dates
Tuesday 4 June – Manchester (Bridgewater Hall)
Wednesday 5 June – Bath
Thursday 6 June – Nottingham
Saturday 8 June – Edinburgh
Sunday 9 June – Glasgow
Monday 10 June – Liverpool
Tuesday 11 June – Birmingham
Thursday 13 June – London
Starting out its first-ever UK tour in our city, Disney In Concert: The Sound of Magic will be live at the iconic Bridgewater Hall in Manchester city centre on Tuesday 4 June 2024 – with the show starting at 7pm, and running for 100-minutes with a 20-minute interval.
The concert will be live on stage at Manchester’s iconic Bridgewater Hall this summer / Credit: Bridgewater Hall
This newly-imagined concert is said to take audiences “on a magic carpet ride through the most memorable song, score, and movie moments” of the Walt Disney Company’s extensive back catalogue – including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Moana, Alice in Wonderland, and more.
Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Frozen, The Lion King, Fantasia, Encanto, Beauty and the Beast, are just some of the cult-classics being celebrated.
Legendary musical Chicago is coming back to Manchester later this year
One of the greatest musicals of all time is returning to Manchester later this as part of its UK tour, and tickets are now on sale.
That’s right – Chicago is back, and we already can’t wait.
Known, loved, and celebrated by millions worldwide, and having scooped up countless awards along the way since first hitting the Broadway stage all the way back in 1975, followed by the West End in 1979, and then its first UK tour back in 2021, it’s been announced this week that Chicago is back to entertain the masses.
The multi award-winning musical production is heading out on a tour of the UK in 2024 and 2025 – and, of course, it will be paying us a visit here in Manchester later this year.
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CHICAGO, the "sexiest musical ever" (Metro), is back on Tour in 2024 and coming to the Palace Theatre this November!
The show’s talented cast and crew will be pulling into our city for one week only in early November.
The beloved production’s tour of the UK kicks off in Milton Keynes on 12 October, and will stop off at other major cites such as Newcastle, Bradford, and Southampton, before arriving in Manchester and taking to the stage at our city’s iconic Palace Theatre from Monday 4 – Saturday 9 November 2024.
Further tour dates are a set to be announced in the coming weeks, and the cast for the show is to be named in due course too.
Legendary musical Chicago is coming back to Manchester later this year / Credit: Tristram Kenton (via Supplied)
Unfamiliar with Chicago?
Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, the musical tells the story of housewife and nightclub dancer, Roxie Hart, who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her.
As she’s so desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media, and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines.
It’ll be taking to the stage at the city’s iconic Palace Theatre this November / Credit: Tristram Kenton (via Supplied)
The show was created by musical theatre legends John Kander and Fred Ebb, alongside iconic choreographer Bob Fosse, and includes a score of famous songs including ‘All That Jazz’, ‘Cell Block Tango’, and ‘All That Jazz’.
It’s now the longest-running American musical in Broadway and West End history, and has played in a whopping 38 countries worldwide to an estimated 34 million people.
Chicago the Musical will be at Manchester Palace Theatre from Monday 4 – Saturday 9 November 2024, and tickets are now on sale from just £15.